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​As Kay Villalobos lay in a rotating hospital bed, a halo bolted to her forehead, her hands unmoving by her sides, she agonized, “How will I ever draw and sketch my own designs again? Will I ever make beauty again?” She closed her eyes, and let her memory take flight. She thought of her father, an Englishman drawn to a career as a Hollywood set designer for Disney Studios. In 1958, her family arrived in Los Angeles from Surrey, England. As she grew from a toddler, Kay watched her father develop his designs, as he brought sets to life on film locations. As a young woman, Kay’s own artistic concepts developed wings. She founded her own business creating accessories for children, combining whimsical art with practicality.


Then in mid-1997, Kay’s life changed irrevocably. After a car accident that left her with paralysis from her shoulders to her feet, the hands that had once sketched and handled ribbons no longer moved. Yet, during her long hospitalization, Kay dreamed and schemed about what form her art could now possibly take. And those wings of creativity again began to unfurl, this time with a helpful updraft from others.


Today, Kay works in collaboration with various personal assistants in her Carmel home. With Kay’s vision leading the way, her team works to create unique, truly visionary works of art. From collages to altars, from stylized mannequin hands to fully decorated torsos – Kay’s work is evolving and changing with her imagination. Her work was featured at the first Dia de Los Muertos exhibit at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, CA. She was then one of the pioneer artists asked to show her work at the inaugural Dia de Los Muertos event at San Francisco’s Palace of the Legion of Honor. Since then her work has been shows at the Hanson Gallery in Carmel, at the Pajaro Valley Arts Center Gallery in Watsonville, CA and more.


All artists must have the courage to face a blank slate when trying to come up with ideas. Kay takes courage to new heights. As she says, “you learn to deal with the challenges. It never occurred to me to stop making art, to let it go because it was too hard. If you love something enough, you can find a way to keep doing it.”


And so, every day of her life, Kay works to find new ways to keep doing it, and bringing us all along for the ride.

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